Alaska Divorce Custody
As in most of the other states of USA, the guidelines to establish child custody are based on the premise that the best interests of the child should be met. Alaska divorce custody laws have been summed up below:
- The actual needs of the child in terms of his/her social, physical, emotional and religious needs are first assessed while Alaska divorce custody issues are being handled. Judges first try to analyze the actual needs of the child in question.
- Keeping in mind the best interests of the child, judges dealing with divorce custody cases in Alaska, look into the capabilities of the parents in raising up their child in the fittest sense. The parent who is most willing to meet the actual needs of the child has higher chances of winning the divorce custody cases in Alaska.
- Many courts seek the opinions of the child as well, if he/she is found to be mature and of sufficient age (below 18 years) to suggest the parent with whom he/she might be willing to live.
- Courts look up into the matter of domestic violence, child abuse, child neglect etc which may have happened in the family fighting for custody of the child. Judges also try to find out if there are any police records and criminal cases with respect to child abuse or family violence while ruling for divorce custody cases. The child may or not may not be a witness of abuse or domestic violence, yet the parent involved in domestic violence or child abuse is not granted custody when the other parent is found to give a better safe environment to the child.
- If a parent is found to be alcoholic or indulging in drugs, or substance abuse, judges are found to give preference to other parent. Matters concerning alcoholism and drugs are taken with complete seriousness because in ruling for such Alaska divorce custody cases, the right environment for the social and physical environment of the child is most important.
- Courts in Alaska try to settle the matter of child custody by either awarding both the parents shared custody or only one parent gets the entire responsibility of the child referred to as sole custody.
- Judges prefer joint custody only if the following criteria of the parents are met:
- They try to analyze which parent would encourage continued interaction of the child with the other parent. In many of Alaska divorce custody cases; it is found that the custodian parent tries to instill negative thoughts about the other parent in the minds of the child. As a result, the non-custodian parent finds himself/herself being denied of the love from his/her child. Thus, the custody of the child is generally given to the parent who is known to adhere to the parenting plan and is most likely to let the other parent involve with their child.
- Shared custody is mostly preferred if the parents live close by for obvious practical reasons of traveling and picking up the child with ease.
- Physical custody of the child is awarded to that parent who can continue to provide the same community to the child which the child is used to. The other non-custodian parent gets the visitation rights.
- Judges also try to assimilate the points raised by the divorce custody mediator and divorce custody evaluator who were asked to interpret the divorce custody case. Divorcing parents are asked to participate in custody evaluation for psychological assessment of their parent-child relationship. Custody mediators help in framing of the parenting plan for successful raising of the child.
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